Doctoral Student Profiles

Ran Xiang

Curriculum Studies Education | Art Education

Supervisor(s) | Dr. Rita Irwin, Dr. Bruce Rusk

Ran Xiang is a PhD student in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, with a focus on Art Education. Before pursuing her current degree, she has finished her first MA in Comparative Literature at University of Alberta and her second MA in Education Studies at UBC. Her dissertation project investigates the aesthetic qualities and the educative nature and potential of tea ceremony, seeing it as a form of aesthetic and affective pedagogy. Her research interests include tea ceremony, place and space, objects and materiality, aesthetics and aesthetic pedagogy and qualitative methodology.

Megan Zeni

Curriculum Studies Education | Science Education

Supervisor | Dr. Leyton Schnellert

Megan Zeni is a PhD candidate who brings over 25 years of K-7 public school teaching to her research. With an M.Ed from the University of Toronto (OISE) that explored the academic value of play, her research interests have expanded to include pedagogies of place and play in the elementary school context. Megan has extensive experience teaching in public school outdoor classrooms, and consults broadly on school garden pedagogy with practical strategies for joyful outdoor play and learning. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, hiking, boating, and skiing with her family in this beautiful province we call home! Follow her learning journey at or on Twitter and Instagram at @roomtoplay.

Ting Zhang

Curriculum Studies Education | Mathematics Education

Supervisor | Dr. Ann Anderson

This is Ting Zhang, a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, studying under the supervision of Dr. Ann Anderson. My research addresses how elementary students’ mathematical problem solving develops with robotics activities. Raised by parents with engineering backgrounds in Xi’an, China, I went to business school in Shanghai Jiaotong University, where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in business. I have been heavily involved in designing and teaching robotics programs for more than a decade after I received an MA in education from California State University in 2004. My current research attempts to examine the role of educational robotics as a learning aid within the context of problem-based learning in mathematics.